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Williams upbeat about upcoming Brit GP

2014-06-27 08:45

FULL STEAM AHEAD: Deputy team principal of Williams Formula 1 Claire Williams (inset) believes her team is "on its way back to being a major force in F1". Image: AP

LONDON, England - Claire Williams; deputy team principal of the Williams Formula 1 team, is confident that her cars are on the way back to being a major force in F1 after a recent return to form.

Williams' drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were third and fourth respectively in the (June 22) 2014 Austrian Formula 1 GP after starting first and second on the grid. Their effort gave the British team its best points return (33) from a single race since the new scoring system was introduced in 2010.

It was different in 2013 when Williams, a team with nine F1 Constructors' and seven Drivers' titles, managed only five points from a ninth place - its worst season.


That campaign came after several years of struggle for the team founded by Claire's father Frank Williams a fixture on the GP circuit since 1977. The team has raced in more than 600 GP's.

March 2014 saw Williams impress during pre-season testing in Bahrain, having brought on board Pat Symonds as chief technical officer, Rob Smedley as head of vehicle development and Jakob Andreasen as head of engineering.

Claire Williams, now deputy principal in a team over which her father has overall control, said it wasn't just a case of the newcomers transforming Williams' fortunes.

"It's been a combination of factors, "she explained. "We had a great team before those guys came in but it was a case of augmenting that with more support at senior level. The number of guys behind the scenes supporting the talent we have has been a game-changer."

Williams' most recent F1 title was courtesy of Jacques Villeneuve back in 1997.

"It's also about momentum," she added ahead of the team's "home" British GP at Silverstone in England on July 6. "Team morale is really high."

She believed that, having shown Williams can stay with the Mercedes cars, prospects for the team were bright. "Everybody believes this team can get back to the top... you have to believe that to do it."

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